Interstate 95 (I-95)

Northern Virginia Leaders Want North and South Express Lanes All Day on I-95

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Leaders in Northern Virginia want a major change in direction for the Interstate 95 express lanes.

Currently, the lanes operate in rush-hour directions only, but that concept is likely headed for a U-turn. It would be a major change for the I-95 express lanes running from the Beltway down to Fredericksburg, eventually.

Basically, the problem is the lanes only go one direction – inbound in the morning and outbound at night – along quite possibly the most notorious stretch of highway in the D.C. area.

“We’re pressing hard to reconsider the Express Lanes on 95 and build them properly,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said.

Drivers should be able to go either north or south on the lanes any time of the day, he said.

“Frankly, they should have never been built that way in the first place,” McKay said. “They should have been built like the Beltway and like I-66, and to me, the first thing we should be doing is pressing to get those express lanes going in both directions all day, every day.”

Transurban, the operator of the I-95 express lanes, said the idea is being considered.

“Transurban is committed to continue working in partnership with Virginia to advance mobility improvements along the I-95 corridor that deliver congestion relief for travellers,” a statement said.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ann Wheeler agrees something must be done to help unlock the traffic-choked road.

“There is gonna be some focus on that I-95 corridor,” she said. “Really has to be, because, you know, I drive by often and see stopped traffic going the other way.”

The belief is new, multi-direction lanes could fit into the existing express lane area. There’s no word yet on whether that would require widening of parts of I-95.

McKay and Wheeler made comments during an event hosted by the Dulles Area Transportation Association. 

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